One little monkey jumping on the bedWell, actually she was jumping OFF the bed. The bed in question isn't exactly fun to jump on, with its wooden base with a futon on top... So OFF the bed, landing awkwardly, possibly skidding on her futons set on the floor and
She fell off and bumped her headWell, cut it open actually. Crashed her head into the squared metal pole supporting Amy's loft bed. I heard the thump, and thought it was particularly loud (I am used to loud thumps from upstairs that I know is the sound of kids jumping off the bed onto the floor. It always startles guests because the whole house shakes and it feels like the ceiling is going to come crashing down, but I know from experience that it won't!). The sound was different this time, so I thought she had dropped a toy drawer to the ground from its place in the upper half of the closet, since her mission that afternoon was to find 'Littlest Pets' toys to give to a friend.
I was eating a banana, so I thought I would finish that then go up and help her clean up the mess. THEN came the scream. You know how the longer the gap, the bigger the scream? Yeah.
So up I rushed, amazing how fast you can streak up stairs when you need to! Banana still in hand, sisters also appeared literally from no-where, I'm sure I was all alone in the living room before that, then they were just there!
I saw the blood running down her face and freaked out a little bit! OhMyGodOhMyGodOhMyGod! Shake hands like fool. Then order Amy to fetch me a towel as I looked around the room which was relatively tidy for once and therefore had no towels lying on the floor. Dump banana on clothes box. Look at sweet, frightened baby and realize I had to pull myself together. Start speaking in a deliberately slow and gentle voice, telling her it was alright, just a little blood, we'd get it fixed up soon.
Pressed towel onto bloody head. "Shall I get your phone?" said Amy, who was thinking more clearly than I was at the time. I had no idea where my phone was, so we all trooped downstairs. We called Kanji first, who was still miles away, having gone to a meeting out of town that day - worst luck, normally he would be able to come.
Mama called the doctorWell, the ambulance actually. I was so concerned about holding the towel to her head, and driving, and wondering where I should go, that I decided to call the ambulance.
I probably wouldn't have unless Kanji hadn't suggested calling them that night I broke my toe. If that was worth a call, this was! and got all annoyed when they started to try out their three sentences of English on her,
and the doctor said,Well, the ambulance driver said, "Watto aduresso". Damn. Honest, it was just a moment's hesitation, just turned to Amy once to check the word for 'pole', and BAM, that "this person speaks no Japanese so I have to use my three English sentences on her" thing happened. Nice of them to try, of course, but I can speak a whole lot more Japanese, including directions and medical terminology, than the page or two of English they have on a little bit of paper in the back of the ambulance. It wouldn't bother me, of course, only it can sometimes take several repetitions of "I can speak Japanese" for it sink in and for them to both stop trying out their English sentences and worse, trying to decipher my 'English' answers (which are actually Japanese, but it shows how much people can block their hearing).
So I threw several more quickly spoken fully Japanese sentences at them and the switch happily happened, and the ambulance driver said,
"wait outside the bank we'll be there in a few minutes".
I should add here that they really are 'ambulance drivers'. Not paramedics, not nurses. The amount of actual medical procedures they can do are limited - they can't put in lines or give pain medication. What they can do is drive you there safely, and they know where to take you, which, in Japan, is not as clear as it should be.
Meanwhile I found my phone in my pocket, where it had been all along.
Out we go to the street, me holding Erica in my arms, awkwardly pressing the towel against her head, Amy holding an umbrella as it had started to rain. Then she held the towel because my hand was getting sore all twisted around. At this point I thought I might have been able to drive, as I realized Amy could probably do the first aid, though I still didn't know where to go (Kanji had the hospital number, though we could have called and asked).
Meanwhile neighbors gathered. A woman came round the corner, I vaguely recognized her, I think from the school. She stopped her car, jumped out and came over to see if we were okay. "Oh, the ambulance is on its way", I said. I could hear it by then. It seemed to take ages. I remember wondering how they would get the house if we couldn't come out to meet them outside the bank - run in with the stretcher, I suppose.
By the time they arrived I was feeling quite embarrassed, and quite a wee crowd had gathered outside the bank. Oh well, I thought, everyone knows now. So I climbed in the back with Erica (Amy and Lena stayed home), and they wrapped her head up with gauze after judging it to be about 1cm long and1/2c wide, and off we went, Erica's temperature and blood pressure being taken, and me being asked if she had passed out, seen stars or felt sick.
I forgot to look out the front window to see the parting of the ways, except for one point when we were on the main road, and I saw all the cars lined up on either side of the street as we went down the center - meanwhile Erica was calm enough to be fiddling and asking questions about the stuff in the back of the ambulance... by this time I was quite convinced we didn't need an ambulance, but well, it was a bit late by then.
So they drove us up to the door of the pediatric emergency entrance (there isn't a dedicated emergency department in the hospital) where we had to wait a bit for the one on duty pediatrician. She declared it too big for her boots, and promptly called the surgeon. I had time then to call Kanji, who was still on the road, and Kristin, who was on her way to visit with 3 kids (eek! but also, phew - will you arrive and promptly babysit and cook dinner while I hang out at the hospital, please?).
He came pretty quickly, along with my student from last year's hospital class! Erica was SOOOO good. She really likes hospitals and doctors, goodness knows why, with all that has happened to her! She was quite determined that it wasn't going to hurt and she lay still while they cleaned it up and applied the steri-strips. The nurse was funny, handing the surgeon what he needed just before he asked... he'd say 'are...' ('that one') and there she'd have it. Yes, Maria, Mum and Rebecca, I know, you nurses always have to tell those doctors what to do! She was real smooth too...
And we were given two days worth of prophylactic antibiotics and told to go to any old nearby surgeon on Monday.
Back home in time to cook dinner, then everyone arrived - Kristin and the kids, then Kanji, and Erica made a miraculous recovery so she could play with her friends and then everyone said,